Our Lady of the Rosary is the devotional focus for October. The Tridentine liturgy allows us celebrate this feast of Mary even today – Sunday – in anticipation of the October 7th calendar date of this feast. It’s only right that our parish should take advantage of Marian feasts that are offered to us.
We have remained rather faithful to the practice, begun a few years ago, of the public recitation of the holy rosary after each Mass, with the priest himself leading it, whenever possible. This practice was initiated as a buffer against what was foreseen to be a time of moral crisis for our country following upon the election of the current resident of the White House who has not failed to inflict alarm on people of good will generally and Catholics in particular. Our daily praying of the holy rosary was meant to fortify the Church in view of this circumstance and to help avert the worst that might follow. Whether our paltry efforts to comply with the wishes of the Virgin Mary in being faithful to the rosary have been deemed acceptable by heaven or not, we continue to do that little but so necessary a part to “beg God’s mercy on our country” (the stated intention of these rosaries).
This reliance on the intercessory prayers of the Virgin Mary is urgent in view of this intensive drive to neutralize the moral force of the Catholic Church over men’s lives. The blame for this lies not only with those outside the Church. Catholics themselves have helped erode their faith (which I attribute in great part to dissenting theologians and clergy). The clerical scandals of recent years have given those with an anti - Catholic animus to make destructive advances against the Church which puts our bishops in a defensive mode and weakens their moral voice as teachers and leaders.
Recently I was present in a rather large gathering of priests. There were many good men among them surely, and some of them are known as such to me. Yet I felt a certain sadness in being there on account of a sensing that many priests are losing a sense of the sacredness of their calling as ‘other Christs.’ So much of what the modern parish and its priests must do are about secular concerns that I fear we are forgetting our supernatural purposes. So much activity; so much less spirituality.
I am especially concerned over our young people who are often ignorant of the beauties of the Church’s doctrines, her history, her devotions, her liturgical richness, her saints. What chances have they with all the anti - Catholic bias they are likely to encounter in their secular education and in the media to find in the Church the stability, solace and peace their souls need so greatly? Where will mother Church be for these her children when they need her most? The proposal to recite the rosary publically after each Mass was meant to invoke Holy Mary to take on our families as Her own, to protect them, fortify them, to preserve them in truth and in God’s grace. I know many of you say the daily rosary by yourselves rather than in communal recitation. You would find added strength in your prayers, however, from prayer in common, as a parish united under Mary. In this way, each one prays for all – the total effect being so much the greater than prayer said in isolation.
All, priests and laity, have got to be renewed in determination to be exemplary Catholics. The Marian dimension to our faith, an essential element to the devout life, is so often missing, as is also Eucharistic piety. How we can recover these things on a wide scale is unknown. We do what we can here, admitting our own failures to attain the desired perfection. Our rosary is one means to keep us on track. I hope you will continue to pray with us after Mass in that small but mighty prayer of the holy rosary.
... (emphasis added)
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" [updated weekly] (Assumption Grotto News, October 5, 2014):